I’m guessing if you’re following our blog that, by now, you’ve come to the understanding that we are a family of foodies. Therefore, you can correctly surmise that we also enjoy watching the Food Network on TV. Recently, I was watching, for the first time ever, a show called “Mystery Diners.” Maybe you’ve heard of it?
If you haven’t, here’s the synopsis (from the Food Network Website) of what the show is about: “When a restaurant owner suspects employees of not doing their jobs — whether it be stealing, lying, mistreating customers or generally doing lousy work — they call in the Mystery Diners. These Mystery Diners are undercover operatives who go into restaurants, bars and food service establishments with hidden cameras to perform surveillance to find out what’s really going on when the boss isn’t around.” That’s the deal behind the show. And, I have to say, that the show can get quite intriguing and suspenseful at times.
So it was with this particular episode I happened to be watching. The two owners of a diner noticed that money was being stolen from them at their restaurant. The owners realized that the money began to disappear around the same time that they hired an ex-convict to be a waiter at their restaurant. The owners had wanted to show kindness and grace to the ex-convict and give him another chance at life and a job. Thus, the owners didn’t hold the ex-con’s past mistakes, or jail time, against him (hmmm, sounds a lot like U Love to me).
They freely overlooked his offenses and gave him a fresh start. However, once the owners started to see some of their money disappear right before their very eyes, they began to regret having shown such kindness to the ex-convict by hiring him. The restaurant owners immediately connected their loss of money to the ex-convict, assuming that he was the one stealing from them. They wondered if their exhibition of U Love was firing back on them.
In a short amount of time, the two restaurant owners were convinced that they had made a colossal mistake in hiring the ex-con. But, just to make sure that their conclusions were correct, the two restaurant owners called in the Mystery Diner operatives to go undercover at their restaurant. The owners knew that if anyone could discover the real story behind the anonymous thief, it would be the Mystery Diner organization.
Immediately, the Mystery Diner company sent their operatives into the diner, and set up multiple surveillance cameras all over the restaurant. The Mystery Diner operatives then set up multiple “fake” incidents within the diner in order to test the employees. These tests were designed to reveal which employees had good moral character, and which employees did not. The hidden cameras would show who was being honorable and who was resorting to less than acceptable behavior at work. During the tests, the two restaurant owners and the host of “Mystery Diners” all were sitting in a room next door to the diner, watching the secret footage as it was taking place in real time. And what the two restaurant owners saw, astonished them.
Every time the ex-convict was faced with an opportunity to steal or act inappropriately to a customer or another employee, he took the high road. Though presented with multiple opportunities to steal money, he never did. In fact, he handled himself quite honorably, and even showed U Love to a particularly difficult customer.
The ex-convict wasn’t perfect in his job, but he was certainly acting quite morally; and he definitely was not stealing from the restaurant owners. Wow! Had they ever misjudged the ex-convict! A feeling of utter surprise and a wave of relief flooded over the restaurant owners. Their initial instinct to give the ex-convict a second chance had been correct. And their assumption that the ex-con had been doing the stealing was completely wrong! Whew!
Despite the restaurant owners’ newly found relief at the knowledge that their ex-convict employee was indeed not stealing from them, they still had a dilemma on their hands. If the ex-con wasn’t stealing from them, then who was? The restaurant owners were perplexed, as I’m sure were the viewers as well. To find out who the REAL secret culprit was, check back here next week for the conclusion to this mystery!! You’ll definitely be surprised at the final outcome to the story!
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